It is necessary to take a small step backwards in order to begin recounting the recently concluded edition of Clio Art Fair, in September 2022; namely, it is necessary to recall the last pre-Covid edition in March 2020, a month when, a then unknown pandemic, was crossing the planet from East to West, like a black sun. European cities were discovering the consequences of the contagion, the media were sounding their alarm bells, the closure of airports and public spaces was being called for from many quarters.
Between the 5th and 8th of March of that year, the spirit of New York, along with its pulsating energy and persuasive enthusiasm, were powerless against a dark coming danger, that was as imminent as it was unknown. The Art Week managed to complete its schedule, unfortunately including Covid among its guests and taking away the life of one of the greatest art historians of the millennium, Germano Celant and many other artist and art-loving friends. On the 9th of March, the day dedicated to the fair taking down, I remember some workers cancelling their presence for fear of contagion; I remember the sight of empty streets when they would usually be busy; I particularly remember the sound of the closing door of the last lorry that had finished unloading amid the silence; I remember the loneliness I felt at the end of the fair, a moment I always used to spend celebrating with friends; I remember the sad return home, the phone call from a friend telling of the first acquaintance who had been admitted to hospital...
New York and also my life went from the contagion of frenzy to that of immobility.
What do we do now? - I was asked and we wondered. So, on 20th May 2020, anticipating the announcements that all the other trade fairs in the world would make, we informed about the suspension of our activities:
New York, May 20, 2020
Considering the current health situation, we are officially suspending our fair programming for the next 12 months.
Starting with the name chosen for our project, Clio, the muse of history, we have never hidden the Greek and Latin references of our roots. Just as our culture, although lovingly open to influences and encounters from all over the world, an approach that provides for a profitable and mutually enriching exchange, continues to have at its core an education that includes the texts of the Old Testament.
Our spirituality is experiencing an epochal and ancestral challenge. And these new times have allowed us to dedicate to the rediscovery of texts that contributed to our education in our youth and have made us rediscover awareness of how to live in an obligatory period of repose.
(In biblical times), every seventh year under the Mosaic law was a "sabbath," during which the land was allowed to rest.
So, we have arrived in our seventh year of activity with awareness we will stop.
Once this period of emergency is over, we expect a period of freshness, vigor, and additional energy. We are awaiting and planning a historical awakening.
With the hope of a profitable and creative sabbatical period, we respect social distancing today, but we will re-hug stronger than ever tomorrow.
If the September 2021 edition will be remembered as the one of the technical rehearsals of normality, marked by the request for proof of vaccination at the entrance, masks worn and disinfectant gel in one's pocket ready for use, the edition that has just ended was tangible proof of a collective awakening that had really taken place, that is, the desire to meet each other without worrying, the need to go back to making plans, the urge to express oneself through creativity and the return to sharing.
These two past years of lockdown have accelerated the influence of screens as a filter for human interactions and thus emotions. Clio has chosen a special section - curated by Asya Rotella - inspired by this new social environment. The curatorial project Maybe I am your Mother, along with the entire fair, was an invitation to enter into a new normality, aware of its rapid evolution towards a fragmented humanity, that is amplified and reflected in the smartphones and personal computers we use every day.
Clio Art Fair, an idea with atavistic roots, a reality with a global scope that, together with its artists, has tried its best to inaugurate a new historical period to be lived with impetus, awareness, maturity, and a new desire to astonish and amaze.
With this reopening, Clio bids farewell to 2023 through two new editions that promise to continue their mission with great commitment: offering professionalism and giving value to independent artists from all over the world.